‘Ghost’ Mulee explains why he substituted Kenya’s Juma for Muguna against Comoros

The Harambee Stars tactician explains why he used all five substitutions during the Afcon qualifying match away in Moroni

Harambee Stars coach Jacob ‘Ghost’ Mulee has revealed the reason he pulled out Lawrence Juma during the team’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Comoros in Moroni.

The 52-year-old tactician recalled Juma for the reverse fixture after he missed out on the first leg that ended 1-1 in Nairobi and gave him a start in the match Kenya lost 2-1.

Juma, who left Gor Mahia for Sofapaka, was later substituted early in the second half for Kenneth Muguna and Mulee has now explained what forced him to pull out the midfielder.

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“We did not substitute him [Juma] because he was playing badly…no, we removed him because he was tired, very tired in the early stages into the game and these things do happen,” Mulee told Goal.

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“If you look out also the heat was very strong in Comoros and that is why you saw we used all the five substitutions we were given by Caf.

“The heat took a toll on many players [including Juma], even Ayub [Timbe] was tired and we had to pull him out, but one thing I want people to understand is that most players who are in Kenya have not been active especially the attacking area if you look at Timbe he played for 45 minutes.

Mulee continued: “Other players affected during the match include Benson Muchiri, there is no league in Kenya, and if you check on Masoud Juma, they have not played, even Muguna.

“All the players are lacking match fitness, nine months without action, it leaves the coaches with a lot of work to do to come up with a good squad.”

Mulee has further defended his move to start Juma by stating: “I don’t have any fears to start Juma, only the fans are saying he should not have started but I started Juma because he has always been playing in the qualifiers we have played so far and was putting up a good show.

“It was the reason I gave him a starting role and even the squad was not changed much because I tried to maintain the squad which has been playing before and I think they did very well.”

After the loss, Kenya are now on three points after four Group G games, five points behind the islanders, and will host the Pharaohs on March 22 before wrapping up their campaign with a trip to Lome against Togo on March 30.

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